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Experimental evidence that female-female pairs in gulls result from a shortage of breeding males.

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Tested the hypothesis that female-female pairings in ring-billed Larus delawarensis and California gulls L. californicus result from a shortage of males in the breeding population, by removing males from one ring-billed and 4 California gull colonies early in the breeding season. The frequency of 4-6 clutches, used as an index of female-female pairings, was significantly higher in these colonies than in nearby control colonies, supporting the hypothesis. Female-female pairings allow females the chance to breed when they are unable to obtain a male partner. -from Authors

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